Canal+ Pulls Plug on 3D Channel - China Launches new 3D Channel

Similar 3D services are on the air in Japan, South Korea, India, United States and United Kingdom

French pay-TV channel Canal+ will close its 3D channel Canal+ 3D on 24 January while China’s first 3D television channel will go into full operation during the upcoming Lunar New Year Festival in late January.

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China enters 2012 with new 3D free-to-air TV channel
State-run China Central Television and a group of Chinese broadcasters launched a trial of 3D television January 1 in preparation for the official kick-off January 23 of the new free-to-air service during the upcoming Lunar New Year Festival .

The broadcasting partners, which include Beijing Television, Tianjing Broadcasting TV, Jiangsu TV, Shenzhen TV and the Shanghai Media Group, will offer a 3D lineup of programming during the trial for 13.5 hours a day, which consists of 4.5-hour loops of 3D programming that will be repeated, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

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Programming will include live events, including the 2012 London Olympics and CCTV's coverage of the nation's Spring Festival, as well as sports, dramas, documentaries, animation and other entertainment. The 3D service initially will be offered to viewers for free.

According to media reports, the partners in the 3D venture are each setting up 3D production units to create programming for the new service.

Cai Fuchao, who heads up China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), was quoted by the Xinhua News Agency as saying, "The launch of the 3D trial channel is a significant step in the development of China's television. The launch of the 3DTV trial channel will be a new milestone in the history of the development of broadcasting and television in China, symbolising that China’s broadcasting and television is closely following global development trends.”

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According to media reports, the state broadcast regulator speculated that the 3D service could help to generate significant revenue if a portion of the nation's 500 million TV sets were replaced with 3D models.

Similar 3D services are on the air in Japan, South Korea and India. In the United States, 3D channels are available from pay TV providers like 3net or ESPN 3D.

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Canal+ to cease 3D broadcasts
One day after the launch of the Chinese 3D channel Canal+ is to end its experimental 3D channel as of January 24, 2012. Reports in the French media indicate the channel had only managed to derive some 30,000 subscribers.

Initially launched in June 2010, the French premium channel had always taken a soft approach to 3D broadcasts, running a single movie and one live event every month. It was also able to draw on 3D content produced in the UK and Spain.

Transmissions were receivable on Canal’s range of PVRs, including Le Cube, as well as IPTV Networks Free and SFR. Though 200 hours are still set to be broadcast in 3D for the London 2012 Olympics.

Local website Planet CSAT indicated that Canal might return to 3D when it is able to provide subscribers with a better experience.

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